Tag Archives: banding together

Banding Together 2017 and Maxfield’s Recap 10/14/17

Doubleheaders aren’t only for sporting events.

This past Saturday, I spent the afternoon playing as part of the Banding Together 2017 fundraising show at Espresso Joe’s in Keyport, NJ and the evening playing with Christina Alessi & the Toll Collectors for three sets at Maxfield’s on Main in Boonton, NJ.

If you haven’t done so yet, please consider donating to the Spondylitis Association of America. As a fun way to donate, you can purchase a digital compilation album, which includes exclusive tracks from local musicians. I have a track on there, too!

Donate at https://spondy.bandcamp.com today!

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Banding Together 2017: A Benefit for the Spondylitis Association of America

I’m thrilled to be part of this year’s benefit for the Spondylitis Association of America, Banding Together 2017. Lazlo from blowupradio.com organizes this successful effort each year. His wife suffers from Spondylitis, so this is a very personal cause for him.

Spondylitis is a genetic rheumatoid arthritic condition that causes inflammation and fusion in the vertebrae of the spine. To date BlowUpRadio.com has raised thousands of dollars for the cause, and raised awareness of the genetic disease which the Centers For Disease Control says affects more than 2.7 million adults in the US.

Want to help out?

There are two ways to contribute:

  1. Attend a Live Performance
  2. Purchase the Digital Compilation

Attend a Live Performance on Saturday Afternoon

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I’m playing a solo acoustic set at Espresso Joe’s in Keyport, NJ on Saturday, October 14th at 2:30pm. Come at 2pm to see fellow Toll Collector Jonathan Andrew perform before me!

There are also shows featuring other great NY/NJ artists on Friday at 8pm at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ and the Clash Bar in Clifton, NJ on Saturday October 21st at 8pm.

Purchase the Digital Compilation Now

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There’s an exciting compilation full of 36 exclusive tracks from local New Jersey/New York-based musicians. I’ve donated a live recording of one of my new songs “Don’t You Ever Want to Be In Love.” This is the only place you will be able to listen to this track! 

Suggested donation is $10, but you can always donate more! It all goes to the Spondylitis Association.

Click the image above or click this link to access the exclusive compilation album: https://spondy.bandcamp.com

Hope to see you on Saturday!

Listen to a Live Recording from Banding Together

After a battle with traffic on the NJ Turnpike extension, I was able to make it to Lazlo’s Banding Together live acoustic music marathon at Espresso Joe’s in Keyport, NJ. If you haven’t done so already, please download the compilation record to donate to the Spondylitis Association of America.

For those of you who missed the performance, you can now listen to a live recording below. If the embed doesn’t appear below, click here to listen directly on Soundcloud.

 

Here is a nice photo captured by Lola.

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And here is the setlist.

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Banding Together 2016 Available Today

I have a brand new recording to share with you today! It’s a newly-recorded version of my song “Walking On,” featuring Ty Tuschen on electric guitar. It’s part of Banding Together 2016, a compilation album to benefit the Spondylitis Association Of America. All proceeds will go to fund research and provide programs and services for people suffering from Spondylitis, a genetic rheumatoid arthritic condition that causes inflammation and fusion in the vertebrae of the spine, affecting more than 2.7 million adults in the United States.

This compilation album features 32 tracks of original music from local musicians and was curated by Lazlo at BlowUpRadio.com. Download the compilation album to support the cause today!

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Download the compilation album >>

Thank you so much for supporting this cause!

Recording Process for Banding Together 2015

Last year, I wrote about the recording process for Banding Together 2014 and how it evolved from 2012-2014. In 2015, the process took another step forward. Here’s how.

In 2012, I put a stereo field mic on my dining room table, sat in a chair, and let it happen. In 2013, I learned a bit about mic placement and I stood up to get some more energy on the recording. In 2014, I abandoned the stereo field mic approach and instead used two mics. This gave me better control over the balance between the voice and guitar.

As I set up to record Banding Together 2015, I started with the same approach as 2014. And then at the last minute, just before hitting record, out of the corner of my eye, I saw that same stereo field mic I had used in 2012 and 2013. I had a thought!

Though I liked the sound of the 2014 recording, everything sounded “up close.” As the listener, I didn’t get the sense I was in the room. There was no ambience, no space, no room sound. So at the last minute, I grabbed the stereo mic, placed it on the other side of the room, and hit record. I didn’t expect to use it in the final recording at all, but I thought it would be a nice experiment. I had changed my approach each year since 2012. It just didn’t feel right to take the same exact approach.

Well… what was just an experiment turned into a revelation.

I was shock when, after having finished recording my performance, I dropped the stereo field mic’s audio into the mix. It made it sound so much bigger! There was a bit of space between the source of the sound and the mic. The room acted as a natural mixing board, blending the sounds of my acoustic guitar and my voice in a natural way. Combining this sound source with the close up sources made the overall recording sound fatter and larger. It sounded like you were there in the room with me. Which was exactly what I was going for!

Having that room sound alongside the closer mics on my voice and guitar really gave me the best of both worlds. I had the detail and presence I needed from the close ups and I also had the room and a sense of space from the room mic.

And of course, after all this, I made a connection I probably should’ve made from the beginning.

It’s a lot like recording drums! The close up mics are for the detail, but the drums don’t sound complete until you hear what they sound like in the room. The room is essential!

Just like anything you are trying to capture acoustically, the room can make all the difference.

P.S. If you’re interested in listening to the final recording, it’s available on iTunes, Spotify, and everywhere else. Check it out here.

Recording It Live

My latest album – Banding Together 2015 – is a live album. Not live in the sense that it was recorded at a show or even in front of a live audience (other than my cats). It’s live in the sense that the performance is live. I played my guitar and sang each song from the beginning to the end. And that’s what you hear on the album.

But why do it live? Why not record to a click track and multi-track the guitar and vocal separately? Recording software makes it easy. Plus, it produces a nice “studio sound.”

In this particular case, live was a requirement. The Banding Together webathon had to be performed live because that was the nature of the event. But even if that requirement wasn’t there, would I have done it differently? Would I have multi-tracked?

I don’t think so. Not that I wouldn’t ever record that way, but there’s something special to me about being able to hear a singer/songwriter perform songs in the most intimate setting. I don’t believe you can truly capture that sound unless it’s recorded as a live performance.

When the performance is recorded live – even if it’s captured in a studio – it feels like you’re in the room with the musician. That’s what the early Bob Dylan records – like The Freewheeling Bob Dylan – make me feel. That’s what Damien Rice’s first record makes me feel. It’s the best part about stripped-down, live-performance recordings. They allow us to hear the music as written.

It’s the reason MTV’s Unplugged was so popular, right? We’re able to hear if the song stands on its own. We can focus on the melody, lyrics, chord changes, and intent of the songwriter. We’re not distracted by studio effects or instrumentation.

We want to feel the natural ebb and flow of the music as expressed through the dynamics of the performer. It’s not often we hear true dynamics in today’s recordings. The effect of dynamics is often achieved by adding or subtracting instruments, but rarely does the overall loudness change.

Yet if you’re listening to one person play in front of you live, the player’s dynamics come through so clearly. This is something I wanted to capture in Banding Together 2015. I want you to feel like I sat down on your couch and sang you my songs with all my heart.

I hope that feeling comes through when you listen to it.

Where to Listen to My Latest Record

Thanks to everyone who downloaded and listened to my latest solo acoustic album, Banding Together 2015.

In addition to being available for pay-what-you-want download on Bandcamp, it is also now available basically everywhere you can listen to or download music! I’ve listed some of the most popular ones below as hyperlinks. Enjoy!

Still Time to Donate

Some good news. Some bad news.

The good news is that the listenership for Banding Together is up this year! The bad news is that donations are down.

Don’t worry. The webathon is re-airing through Friday evening, so there is still time to make your donation to the Spondylitis Association of America. Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of progressive arthritis due to chronic inflammation of the joints in the spine. It can be very painful to those who are affected by it.

Please consider donating today!

P.S. If you missed the first airing of my set, you can listen to it again on Friday, October 23rd at 11am!

Banding Together Donation Link and Compilation Album

Banding Together begins tomorrow – Friday, Oct 16th at 11am and runs through Monday evening at blowupradio.com.

But you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to make a donation to the Spondylitis Association of America and receive this year’s special compilation album download!

Make your donation here.

Here’s the track list of the compilation album you’ll receive:

1. Josh Bicknell – a new start [live at Espresso Joe’s]
2. Jersey Drive – if minds could kill [single version]
3. The Deafening Colors – jerry ryan
4. The Extras, Inc. – some people in this world
5. Lifeguard Nights – bible girl [rough mix]
6. d.smith – alcohol [live]
7. Shotgun Bill and the Red Hot Pistols – one too many
8. David Van Orden Jr. – stories of a man with my name
9. HAL – dichotomy
10. The Clydes – the lie escape
11. Jonathan Andrew – silver screen [live]
12. Diego Allessandro & Lot 25 – restless heart
13. Keith Beck’s Zigman Bird – dry tears
14. Fun While You Wait – lost [live]
15. Christian Beach – paper ships [live]
16. Son Of Dov – breathing fire [live]
17. Fairmont – bad time
18. Suspecting Victim – wolves in sheep clothing
19. Colie Brice – delicate flower (out loud)
20. Weird and Wonderful Words – canoodle
21. Catherine Wacha – the ballad of marion crane
22. Deena – been so crazy lately
23. Faust Fulton And Friends – something real [live]
24. LHCisco – mr. gloom [chill version]
25. A Halo Called Fred – I haz a sad
26. The Blurry Minds – I just want to be gold
27. Little Big Toe – build a boat
28. The Wag – I’ll be all right (F#m7)
29. Naked Ant – the scene
30. Don Lee – brand new star
31. Hat & Boots – I could be
32. 1L – the 1L show
33. Melissa Anthony – 4/14
34. Just Waiting – useless
35. The Accelerators – beat generation
36. Frank & Bill – purple corvette
37. Joe Canzano – ride thru wyoming
38. The Wailing Kids – de la pueblo
39. The Way Out – deep end
40. Bruce Tunkel – friday’s here [live]
41. Mike Clifford – on a friday night

So don’t wait! Make your donation today.